May 15, 2023
Be Summer Smart

We are all hoping for a good summer, but CSO figures suggest that¬†almost one in four (26.6%) of skin cancer deaths in Ireland are people involved in outdoor work. We may not have the warmest or sunniest weather in Ireland, but that doesn’t mean we are not susceptible to the dangers of the sun, even if it is often hidden behind the clouds, radiation is damaging all year around, even on cool cloudy days. Agricultural workers are more at risk as they spend a large amount of time outdoors. Overexposure to UV can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage and skin cancer.
Whilst all skin types must take care, it is particularly important if you have pale or freckled skin, natural fair or red hair, blue, green or grey eyes, a large number of moles, burn easily, have already had skin cancer or have a close family member that has had skin cancer.
To protect yourself wear clothing that covers your exposed skin such as long sleeved, collared shirts, broad brimmed hats and sun glasses and sun cream with an SPF 30 but preferably 50, which you should reapply during the day. Check your skin regularly for changes and go to the doctor without delay if you notice changes such as a lump or discoloured patch on the skin. Look out for new growth or a sore that does not heal in a few weeks, a spot or sore that itches, hurts, crusts, scabs or bleeds, constant skin ulcers with no other explanation for their cause and new or changing moles.